Broadstreet Rugby Football Club delivered a stinging blow in the final quarter to defeat hosts Birmingham and Solihull RFC by 38 points to 36 in a bizarre and beguiling bout at Portway. ‘Street, at the end, registered six tries to three after being down 36 – 10 with just twenty minutes remaining, as they put together an amazing late offensive to rack up 28 unanswered points to tie the score at 36 – 36. Ice-cool Andy Murray stroked the winning conversion through the sticks from wide left, in his first ever fill-in at fly-half to secure maximum points, writes Bob Harcourt.
Ben Cooper had put one wide following early ‘Street pressure. The first 40 minutes was nearly all ‘Bees’ as the Binley Woods boys contrived to take a battering in giving away a constant stream of kickable penalties; and Canning was not going to miss such sitters – five in all, which, added to winger Dai Evan’s try; scooped up from a wayward Cooper pass, allowing him free passage to the line, to give the home side a 22 points to 5 handsome half time lead. ‘Street’s only points came from right wing Jeff Gregson’s short range touch down after a turnover near the home line. ‘Street started well enough but it was ‘The Bees’ who registered first through a fifth minute penalty from the boot of consummate home kicker and fly half, Adam Canning 3 – 0, after
HALF TIME: Birmingham & Solihull 22 Broadstreet 5.
Nick Thatcher; always probing and sniping, who ensured a reduction of the deficit to 19 points, with a great solo effort down the right, to give the slightest hope of a fight-back; 29 – 10. Step up Canning to add to ‘Street’s woe! Two nifty inside dodges from fifteen metres out (where was the inside cover?) saw him land a real sucker punch, as he crossed untouched near the posts; add his conversion and ‘Street were well and truly on the proverbial ‘ropes’ at 36 – 10 with just 20 minutes to go! ‘Street desperately needed to score first but, it was ‘Bees’ Man-of-the-Match Canning who delivered a haymaker when he charged down an attempted Cooper clearance kick in front of the visitor’s posts to give on-hand Number 8 Steve Leach the simplest dot down beneath the uprights. Canning obliged with the easy extras; 29 – 5 and ‘Street were now looking punch drunk. It was that man
Cornered, smarting and no doubt fearful of further damage, ‘The Street Boys’ came out fighting for pride and survival and what a fight-back we were to witness, as they rattled up four excellent tries without reply, all converted by ‘ice-man’ centre Andy Murray, (now filling in at fly half for the off-colour Cooper), thereby pulling off the most unlikely come back for a 38 – 36 win. With the score tied at 36 – 36, the last of ‘cool’ Andy Murray’s mint conversions, which was not straightforward, sailed through the middle of the uprights to break ‘Bees’ hearts.
Final Score: Birmingham & Solihull 36 – Broadstreet 38.
Sedgley Park RFC, the pack was always in danger of some disruption to their cohesion and so it was until the final quarter, when last year’s regulars Jamie Harrop (Captain for the absent Chris Wood), Beau Carney, Harry Pendleton and Ben Dawes came to the fore to set up tries for Carney (63), Pendleton (65), Owen (68) and new boy lock Nick Murphy (80). With five forwards unavailable from last’s week’s outing to
New, starting props Joe Foreman and Jake Dodd and the exceptionally fleet lock Aaron Crofts, all acquitted themselves admirably and with backs additions Nathan Tilsley and Ashley Elvers adding pace and guile to an already exciting looking backline, the overall performance was less than all would be satisfied with – but, what fighting spirit to pull off that finish!
Squad:Will Owen; Jeff Gregson, Andy Murray, Nathan Tilsley, Ashley Elvers; Ben Cooper, Nick Thatcher; Joe Foreman, Stewart Pearl, Jake Dodd; Nick Murphy, Matthew Solomon; Chris Zutic, Jamie Harrop, Jack Gibbons. Harry Pendleton, Ben Dawes, Aaron Crofts, Beau Carney, Adam Walsh.
Footnote: Nick Thatcher is having a bit of an identity crisis, having been mentioned as Ben Thatcher in the B&S writeup.